TOP 5 PROSPECTS
Excerpted from BaseballHQ.com’s 2019 Minor League Baseball Analyst. To order: https://www.baseballhq.com/ mlba2019
1. DL Hall, LHP: Hall, 20, has an athletic, three-quarters delivery with great extension of his 6-2 frame. His two-seam fastball has solid arm-side run, while a late-fading changeup is becoming a top secondary pitch. Hall will likely jump to high Class A after posting a 2.10 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 941⁄3 innings in low A.
2. Yusniel Diaz, OF: Diaz is a contactoriented hitter who employs a patient plate approach. He’s an above-average runner, though his lower-half mechanics aren’t conducive to power. After hitting .285 with 11 homers and 12 steals at Class AA, Diaz, 22, will likely move to AAA.
3. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B: A pure hitter with solid barrel control, Mountcastle continued to rake in 2018, hitting .297 with 13 HRs at Class AA. His average power plays up due to swing trajectory, making 20-25 homers possible at peak. The 21-year-old’s arm likely limits him to left field or first base long term.
4. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP: The 11th pick of the 2018 draft out of high school, Rodriguez has a long, projectable 6-5 physique. He throws a heavy fastball with late run, while his curveball and slider are emerging breaking pitches. The 19-year-old could start at Class A.
5. Austin Hays, OF: Hays struggled in 2018, missing over two months with an ankle injury and hitting .242 with 12 homers in 273 at-bats at Class AA. He has plus power but sold out for it instead of relying on his natural spray approach. Hays, 23, could start 2019 in the majors. 47-115, fifth place, AL East; missed playoffs
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